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review

Castelli Toe Thingy

7
£14.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Protective toe covers for days when it's not quite cold enough for full overshoes
Weight: 
26g
Contact: 
www.saddleback.co.uk

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The Castelli Toe Thingy provides a little extra warmth on days that are cool but not so cold that you want to go with full overshoes.

First of all, the name: Toe Thingy. That's class.

Quite a lot of brands do toe covers (as they're more commonly known) and they're usually variations on a theme. They're mostly, although not always, neoprene – essentially, the end of a pair of neoprene overshoes. You get a cutout for your cleat and that's what holds them in place.

These Castelli ones are very stretchy so they're super-easy to get on and you can get a good, close fit with a wide variety of shoes. Silicone dots on the sole help protect the neoprene and add a little grip. And in terms of construction, that's about it.

The neoprene is windproof and water resistant so the Toe Thingies give you a little extra protection on rides when the weather is cool. They're especially useful if your shoes are well vented – a bonus in the summer but not such good news when the temperature drops.

The other time these are useful is when it's so cold that your toes are getting chilly even under full overshoes. Then you can whack these on as well for double-layer insulation.

Verdict

Protective toe covers for days when it's not quite cold enough for full overshoes.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Castelli Toe Thingy

Size tested: L/XL

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Castelli say, "Keep your feet warm without the hassle of a full shoecover. Made from super-durable neoprene, these toecovers slip easily over the front of your shoe and are held in place by the cleats. The rugged underside of the toe will add grip and resist rips or tears thanks to a silicone print. This can be worn on its own or as a layer between your shoe and shoecover.

- Wind- and waterproof neoprene protection for the tips of your feet

- Rugged, rubberized sole with openings for cleats

- Eye-catching scorpion logo and castelli lettering on top

- Can be worn on its own or as a layer between your shoe and shoecover"

Yep, that all seems fine to me except that the neoprene is not completely waterproof. It's certainly highly water resistant.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

You can buy toe covers for about a tenner up to £30-odd. £14 isn't expensive – it's about the going rate.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They did a straightforward job exactly as they should.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The silicone on the sole does seem to help resist tears.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? .Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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20 comments

Avatar
srchar | 4 years ago
0 likes

They kept my feet warm, but only lasted one winter.

Mind you, that's all I ever seem to get out of any overshoe, as I have size 12 feet and my cleats are set far back.  I've never found an overshoe with the cleat hole in the right place (it always seems to fall under my toes rather than the ball of my foot), which means that clipping in and out chews up the edge of the hole.

Avatar
MarkiMark | 5 years ago
0 likes

My only comments are:

They work fine with SPD cleats.

I try to avoid full overshoeas for my type of riding, mostly commuting, due to the abuse they get and the hassle of removing and refitting every day. My shoe closure dials are in a spot which means removal of overshoes to tighten.

Avatar
watlina | 7 years ago
0 likes

I get cold feet so use these for most of the year, anything under 15C and the Toe Thingies stay on. When it gets colder <5C I just put a full neoprene overshoe on over the lot including the Toe Thingy to make a double layer. They also work fine with SPDs. There's plenty on tension in the stretchy neoprene that holds them on the shoe so they don't need the cleat to hold them on.

Avatar
lmarlow | 10 years ago
0 likes

Just got as pair of these and used them today on an 80km ride in heavy mist with temp. around 6°C. Feet as snug as a bug in a rug and no overheating around ankle. Bit weird when you look down because it looks like you are wearing your slippers! They are however the dog's proverbials. Well pleased with this purchase.  4

Avatar
5th | 10 years ago
0 likes

Used extensively last winter & spring including a snowy February week on the North York Moors and they are an excellent bit of kit. I tend to run a bit hot anyway and find full neoprene or waterproof overshoes too sweaty but these did a great job of keeping my feet warm and dry. If it warms up, stick 'em in your pocket without taking up too much room. The alternative of a second pair of socks? No chance as I actually buy shoes that fit properly in the first place, plus they still won't block any toe vents. I've tried emergency solutions like plastic bag corners stuffed into shoes too and they're not a patch on these. For those moaning about cost, these aren't exactly going to break the bank are they?

Avatar
racingcondor | 11 years ago
0 likes

I can understand the cynics but believe it or not toe warmers work really well.

The problem woth shoe covers is that they fill with sweat and get cold after an hour or so, toe covers don't so on dry days are great down to 2-3C (even of all they really do is plug the vents in your shoe).

Avatar
arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago
0 likes

Next week: half length arm warmers for those in-betweeny days.

I thought one thing about shoe covers was that they kept your shoes clean. Not half clean. Surely, a pair of thin waterproof overshoes work best?

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mikroos replied to arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago
0 likes

Not every cold day is rainy as well.

Avatar
ALIHISGREAT replied to arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago
0 likes
arrieredupeleton wrote:

Next week: half length arm warmers for those in-betweeny days.

I thought one thing about shoe covers was that they kept your shoes clean. Not half clean. Surely, a pair of thin waterproof overshoes work best?

I use oversocks for the in-between temperatures where a full overshoe is too hot.

I'm sure these would work in conjunction with said oversocks for another set of in-between temperatures where its not qutie right for an overshoe  39

and I must admit I like to look the part on the bike.. so cutting corners isn't something I really do... but some DIY toe-covers for hiding underneath oversocks are perfect and cheap!

cut the corner off a sandwich bag and shape it to fit over the toe of your shoe.. then wrap the bag-covered-toe in a bit of tape (electical tape was what I had to hand) to give your plastic bag toe cover some shape, rigidity, and increased durability.

et voila.. some DIY windproof toe-warmers that can be hidden under my oversocks.

Avatar
maldin replied to arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago
0 likes

These fit far more easily into a pocket if the day warms up than do overshoes - you don't have to make an all or nothing decision as you walk out the door.

Avatar
maldin replied to arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago
0 likes
arrieredupeleton wrote:

Next week: half length arm warmers for those in-betweeny days.

I thought one thing about shoe covers was that they kept your shoes clean. Not half clean. Surely, a pair of thin waterproof overshoes work best?

These fit far more easily into a pocket if the day warms up than do overshoes - you don't have to make an all or nothing decision as you walk out the door.

Avatar
Karbon Kev | 11 years ago
0 likes

is it actually worth it? really?

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Nick T | 11 years ago
1 like

Because your shoes might suddenly feel too tight?

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albanb | 11 years ago
0 likes

How about just putting on a second pair of socks and using the money you saved on something useful?

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Tony Farrelly replied to albanb | 11 years ago
0 likes

These will keep your feet way warmer than an extra pair of socks

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PaulBox replied to albanb | 7 years ago
0 likes

albanb wrote:

How about just putting on a second pair of socks and using the money you saved on something useful?

Putting on a second pair of socks can lead to your feet becoming colder due to restricted blood flow.

I've been using these toe thingys (though my current version are Pearl Izumi ones) for a couple of years and they are really great. Obviously the level of difference that they will make depends on the design of your shoes and how much venitlation they have. 

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Dr_Lex | 11 years ago
0 likes

I'm guessing that, save for the use of a couple of rubber bands, they won't work with recessed SPDs?

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Tony Farrelly replied to Dr_Lex | 11 years ago
0 likes
Dr_Lex wrote:

I'm guessing that, save for the use of a couple of rubber bands, they won't work with recessed SPDs?

I used the Craft toe covers which are pretty similar with my SPD shoes with no problem at all and I've used them quite a lot - the main difference on the Craft ones is that they aren't a long.

Avatar
Mat Brett replied to Dr_Lex | 11 years ago
0 likes
Dr_Lex wrote:

I'm guessing that, save for the use of a couple of rubber bands, they won't work with recessed SPDs?

No, you're right, probably not. The hole in the bottom fits around the cleat and that's what holds the toe cover in place.

Avatar
JonMack | 11 years ago
0 likes

Got a pair a few weeks ago, had them on on days when it's been near freezing with regular socks and not had any problems with cold feet, very happy with them!

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